The Duke of Sussex was reportedly seen leaving his £11million California mansion on Saturday night in a black Cadillac Escalade to board an early-hours flight from LA, and disembarking a BA plane in chinos, a jacket and black face mask at the west London airport around 10 hours later at 1.15pm GMT.
Harry was met by security off the plane and put into a black Range Rover, before he was reportedly driven to Kensington Palace. It is thought he will be quarantining at Nottingham Cottage, because his official home under the Megxit deal Frogmore Cottage has been handed to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
The duke can leave quarantine after five days rather than 10 if he provides a negative coronavirus test under the Government’s Test to Release scheme. However, he will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral regardless, as official guidelines state those coming in from abroad can leave isolation ‘on compassionate grounds’.
Sources close to the couple said former Suits actress Meghan wanted to join Harry but was advised against travelling by her physician because she is pregnant with their second child – a daughter.
The royal family ordered a truce over the contents of the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey to focus on honouring Philip, who died at the Berkshire residence on Friday just two months before his 100th birthday.
Harry and Meghan were criticised for accusing the royal family of racism during the CBS special, broadcast by ITV in the UK while Philip was in hospital receiving treatment for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition. Sources say the duke was brief about the content of the interview after he left hospital.
In a short tribute to Philip, the Sussexes wrote on their Archewell organisation website: In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021. Thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.’
Harry was last pictured with Philip in May 2019, when they were seen posing for a photograph with baby Archie at Buckingham Palace. His return to the UK ahead of Saturday’s funeral will be his first since March 2020 when he moved to Canada, and will be the first opportunity to reunite with Prince William.
- Sophie, Countess of Wessex, led royal tributes by calling the duke’s death on Friday ‘so gentle’;
- Prince Andrew called Philip ‘the grandfather of the nation’ and said his death had left ‘void’ in Queen’s life;
- Anne, Princess Royal, called the nation’s longest-serving consort ‘my teacher, my supporter and my critic’;
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a loving tribute to Philip online, updating the official website for the Royal Foundation to feature a large black-and-white photograph of the duke;
- Prince William, the current president of Bafta, pulled out of this year’s awards following the duke’s death;
- The Archbishop of Canterbury said Philip had a ‘remarkable willingness’ to ‘take the hand he was dealt in life’;
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have reportedly backed cross-party calls to commemorate the duke with a statue on The Mall in central London;
- The Prime Minister was urged to consider sanctioning a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia as a memorial to the duke and to serve as a sister ship to aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales;
- A tribe living on a remote South Pacific Island who believe Philip is their god and the incarnation of a volcano spirit offered their condolences to the Royal Family in a video message;
- A 101-year-old veteran and former Queen’s Bargemaster hailed the duke as the ‘tower of strength’ that supported the monarch for decades as he recalled his ‘happy memories’ of serving the royals;
- The BBC lost two-thirds of its viewers in a week while providing blanket coverage of the duke’s passing.
Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry watch the fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour, Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Parade on June 14, 2014
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Prince Philip at Church of St Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2017 in King’s Lynn
Sophie, Countess of Wessex (right), has described Price Philip’s death as ‘so gentle,’ saying ‘it’s just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.’ Sophie was among those attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor today
Sophie (right) also joined her husband Prince Edward (left) and daughter Lady Louise Windsor (centre) to speak to the media outside the chapel
The Queen has described the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured with the Queen in 2007) as ‘having left a huge void in her life’, according to Prince Andrew
The Queen’s car is seen arriving at Windsor Castle after walking her dogs at Frogmore. Along with the rest of the royal family, she is observing a two-week mourning period
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, attend the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor
Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family ‘mourning his loss’
Members of the public leave floral tributes to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh outside of Windsor Castle
Members of the public leave floral tributes to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh outside of Windsor Castle
The public leave floral tributes to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh who died aged 99, outside Windsor Castle
Members of the public leave floral tributes to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh
A tribute to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh who died at age 99 is left in a pub window near Windsor Castle
Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, with Prince Andrew revealing the impact of his father’s death on the Queen
FAMILY AND PUBLIC FIGURES SHARE MEMORIES OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
Here are some of the tributes paid to the Duke of Edinburgh by his family, politicians and religious leaders.
Anne on her relationship with her father
‘My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.
‘His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved.’
Andrew on his father’s passing
‘I loved him as a father. He was so calm. If you had a problem, he would think about it.
‘That’s the great thing that I always think about, that he was always somebody you could go to and he would always listen so it’s a great loss. We’ve lost almost the grandfather of the nation’.
Sophie on the duke’s death
‘It was right for him and it was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.
‘It was very, very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody, isn’t it?’
Edward on how much the support of the public has meant to the royal family
‘It just goes to show, he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant so much to so many other people’.
Former Irish president Mary McAleese on the Queen and the duke’s 2011 visit to Ireland
‘A man who had come on a mission, as she had come, both of them had come on this mission in their own right to try and heal history, to ensure that for the future these two neighbouring islands would be characterised by good neighbourliness’.
Former archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu on the duke’s reputation for making off-colour remarks and his wish to be challenged intellectually
‘I am sure he regretted some of those phrases, but in the end it is a pity that people saw him simply as somebody who makes gaffes – behind those gaffes was an expectation of a comeback but nobody came back and the gaffe unfortunately stayed’.
Sir John Major on how the Queen will cope with losing her husband
‘Prince Philip may physically have gone, but (he) will be in the Queen’s mind as clearly as if she were sitting opposite him. She will hear his voice metaphorically in her ear, she will know what he will say in certain circumstances, he will still be there in her memory’.
Former archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu on the secret to the Queen and the Duke’s strong marriage
‘His faith was so strong, rooted in Christ, rooted in reality, rooted in his family, that he could be a free person. I have not met a couple that are so free – Her Majesty is exactly the same’.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the duke’s stoic nature
‘For His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, there was a willingness, a remarkable willingness, to take the hand he was dealt in life, and straightforwardly to follow its call. To search its meaning, to go out and on as sent, to inquire and think, to trust and to pray’.
Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm. The duke will be carried on a specially-modified Land Rover he helped design which Army engineers reportedly prepared after he was admitted to hospital in February.
Just 30 people, expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family, will attend his funeral while wearing face masks and socially distancing, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Harry will walk behind the coffin alongside his brother Prince William and the rest of his family at Saturday’s funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. He will not wear his military uniform after being stripped of his official honorary titles honours, and instead will wear a suit along with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
It comes as Sophie, Countess of Wessex, led royal tributes outside the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor as she described the duke’s death as ‘so gentle’
Philip’s daughter-in-law said how his passing was ‘just like someone took him by the hand and off he went’, accompanied by her husband Prince Edward and their daughter Lady Louise Windsor.
Also at the Sunday service was Prince Andrew, who called his father Philip ‘the grandfather of the nation’ in what is thought to be the first time he has spoken in public since his ‘car-crash’ Newsnight interview in 2019 on his friendship with convicted billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Queen is understood to have said private prayers for her beloved husband, a World War Two hero to whom she was married for 73 years, at a Sunday mass in Windsor Castle. The 94-year-old monarch was later spotted arriving at the Windsor estate after taking her pet corgis out for a walk.
In a statement, Anne, the Princess Royal and the Queen’s only daughter, described how ‘you are never really ready’ for the loss of a close one. In a statement, she called her father ‘my teacher, my supporter and my critic’. ‘Mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate,’ she added.
Speaking to mourners outside the chapel, Sophie said: ‘You know it’s going to happen but when it happens it’s just this massive, massive hole. It was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.
‘Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want with somebody isn’t it? I think it’s so much easier for the person that goes than the people left behind, we’re all sitting here looking at each other going ‘This is awful’.’
The countess also called all the tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh ‘amazing’ and even shared a joke about the manicured lawn of the church yard. Pointing to the sky, Sophie remarked: ‘Well we know if [staff] had not done such a great job, there is one person who would have noticed!’
Edward, the Queen and Philip’s youngest son, emotionally revealed: ‘However one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it’s still a dreadful shock and we’re sort of trying to come to terms with that.
‘It’s very, very, sad, but I have to say, the extraordinary tributes and the memories that everybody’s had and been willing to share has been so fantastic and it just goes to show, he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant so much to so many other people.
‘And just being here this morning with everybody from Windsor Great Park and he was a ranger here for, I think, more years than any other ranger and he means so much to so many people here and it’s the same for those who lived and worked at Balmoral and Sandringham.
‘For all those past and present, he means a huge huge amount to them… they all have their own personal memories and stories and our hearts go out to all of them as well.’
Sophie added: ‘He always exchanged words with everybody because it didn’t matter what anybody was doing in and around the estate, here and everywhere else, they all meant a lot to him and he always took a very personal interest in everything that they were doing. So they’ve all got stories to tell and most of them are quite funny as well’.
Separately, Edward added that his mother was ‘bearing up’ and the royal family appreciated ‘the wave of affection’ for the Duke of Edinburgh from the public since his death was announced on Friday.
The earl said: ‘That wave of affection for him and just those lovely stories. They just mean so much and the tributes have been just fantastic. That’s really, really important and we really do appreciate it.’
Referring to the warm wishes that have poured in from around the world, Sophie said it had been ‘so lovely for so many people to learn about what he did’. She added: ‘I just think quite a lot of things that have come out will have surprised some people and how intrinsic he was to every element of society, if you look at it.’
The couple recalled some of the scrapes Philip got into while carriage driving around the Windsor estate. Smiling, Sophie said Philip had been ‘pulled out of a few ditches here I seem to remember as well’.
Laughing, Edward said: ‘In the early days, yes, he used to have a few problems.’ Sophie added: ‘More recently too.’ Philip took up carriage driving after being forced to retire from polo in 1971 due to a wrist injury.
He was driving competitively just two years later and would go on to teach Sophie, while Lady Louise is also a keen participant. The sport can be dangerous and Philip had what he dubbed his own ‘annus horribilis’ in 1994 with ‘no less than eight disasters’.
‘I will miss my dear papa’: Prince Charles pays tribute to his ‘very special’ father as he praises him for his ‘devoted service to Queen and country’ and says that the royal family are ‘deeply grateful’ for moving tributes
Prince Charles today paid tribute to his ‘dear Papa’ as he spoke for the first time following news of his father Prince Philip’s death yesterday morning.
In a pre-recorded video message, the Prince of Wales said his father had given ‘the most remarkable, devoted service’ to ‘The Queen, to my family and to the country’, as well as the Commonwealth.
The Duke of Edinburgh was, he said, a ‘very special person’ who would have been ‘deeply touched’ by the sorrow felt by millions of people in Britain and across the world at news of his passing.
He said he would miss his father ‘enormously’ and added that his family were ‘deeply grateful’ for the condolences offered, which he said would ‘sustain us’ at this ‘particularly sad time’.
Speaking from his Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, Charles said: ‘I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.
‘As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.
‘My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.
‘It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you.’
Prince Andrew was also in attendance at the service and said the Queen had described the loss of her husband as ‘having left a huge void in her life’. Pictured: Prince Andrew (right) with Sophie on Sunday
The Duke of York (second left) talks with Crown Estate staff as he attends the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge
Speaking of her father-in-law’s last moments, Sophie (pictured with Lady Louisa) added: ‘It was so gentle. It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went. It was very very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody isn’t it’
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, talk to Cannon Martin Poll, Domestic Chaplin to Her Majesty The Queen
The Duke of York (third left) and the Countess of Wessex talk with Crown Estate staff as they attend the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor
Canon Martin Poll, chaplain to Windsor Great Park, greeted Edward, Sophie, their teenage daughter and Andrew before the service today
Prince Andrew said the Queen is ‘an incredibly stoic person’, but said Philip’s death had left her grieving and ‘she is feeling it more than anyone’
A specially modified Land Rover, Naval procession and royal mourning: Prince Philip’s funeral details are released by palace
- 2.40pm: Coffin emerges from State Entrance of Windsor Castle
The duke’s coffin, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain, will be moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
The coffin will emerge and the Bearer Party will place it onto a specially modified Land Rover, which Philip helped to design, to transport it to St George’s Chapel.
- 2.45pm: The procession leaves for St George’s Chapel
The procession from the state entrance to the West Steps of the chapel will take eight minutes.
The Prince of Wales and members of the royal family will take part in the procession on foot, immediately behind the duke’s coffin, together with staff from Philip’s household.
The route of the procession will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.
Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.
- 2.53pm: The Land Rover reaches the West Steps of the chapel
A Guard of Honour and Band from The Rifles will receive the coffin at the foot of the West Steps, with the national anthem being played as the coffin enters Horseshoe Cloister.
A bearing party of Royal Marines will carry the coffin up the steps and pause for the minute’s silence.
- 3.00pm: National minute of silence
Following the minute’s silence, the Dean of Windsor, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, will receive the coffin at the top of the West Steps.
In keeping with coronavirus guidelines to limit guests inside the chapel, most of the procession will not enter the chapel, except for members of the royal family, and the duke’s private secretary Archie Miller Bakewell.
The funeral service will begin as the coffin enters St George’s Chapel.
The Duke of York, who stepped down from royal duties after his interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis, revealed how the ‘incredibly stoic’ Queen had described the loss of her husband as having ‘left a huge void in her life’. He said Philip’s death has left the 94-year-old monarch grieving, adding: ‘She is feeling it more than anyone.’
Andrew said of his father: ‘He was a remarkable man. I loved him as a father. He was so calm. He was always someone you could go to. We have lost the grandfather of the nation.’
He said of the Queen: ‘She described his passing as a miracle and she’s contemplating, I think is the way that I would put it. She described it as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones that are close, are rallying round to make sure that we’re there to support her.’
The Duke of York also added: ‘It’s a terrible loss. My father said to me on the telephone a few months ago, ”We are all in the same boat and we must always remember that, but occasionally we, the family, are asked to stand up and show compassion and leadership”.
‘And unfortunately, with my father’s death, it has brought it home to me, not just our loss, but actually the loss that everybody else has felt, for so many people who have died and lost loved ones during the pandemic. And so, we are all in the same boat – slightly different circumstances because he didn’t die from Covid, but we’re all feeling a great sense of loss.’
Anne said: ‘His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved. I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities.
‘I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world.
‘I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched. We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.’
Canon Martin Poll, chaplain to Windsor Great Park, greeted Edward, Sophie, their teenage daughter and Andrew before the service today.
Looking sombre and reflective, the royal party spoke to workers from the Windsor estate and the congregation when they arrived at All Saints, which the Queen normally attends outside of lockdown.
The royals thanked everyone for their support particularly over the last few days following the duke’s death on Friday.
Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, next Saturday will be like no other royal funeral, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell amid coronavirus restrictions.
Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Prince Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm. The funeral service will be broadcast worldwide.
The Archbishop of Canterbury also led a solemn remembrance service for Prince Philip at Canterbury Cathedral today.
The service started at 10.30am with Justin Welby paying tribute to the duke after his death on Friday morning.
It was a small, socially distanced gathering with the Queen represented by Lady Colgrain, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent. Also in attendance was the High Sheriff of Kent, the Lord Mayor of Kent, the Sheriff of Canterbury and the chief executive of Canterbury.
Edward Elgar’s stirring Nimrod was played, the piece of music that accompanies many British funerals and memorial services and is played annually at the Cenotaph in London to mark the National Service of Remembrance.
The Countess of Wessex, attends the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, following Prince Philip’s death
Flowers and tributes to Prince Philip have continued to be placed outside the gates of both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, two days after his death
A woman outside of Windsor Castle this morning is seen shedding a tear as she pays her respects to Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II
A note has been left tied to this cap outside Windsor Castle and alongside floral tributes. The note says that the Duke of Edinburgh was ‘an example to us all’
‘Rest in peace sir’: Mourners also visited the gates of Buckingham Palace this morning in order to leave flowers and personal notes
A man bows his head in respect outside of Windsor Castle this morning as he pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9
On top of flowers, stuffed toys were also placed outside of royal residences this morning. This one was placed down alongside a personal note
A mourner holds her hands together in prayer as she stands outside the gates of Windsor Castle this morning paying her respects to Prince Philip
Adding to the huge number of flowers lining the gates of Windsor Castle this morning, a young boy is seen gently tossing his own bunch onto the pile
Members of the public gathered to view the floral tributes to Prince Philip who died at age 99 this week
Prince Harry can leave quarantine for funeral on compassionate grounds
The Duke of Sussex will be able attend Prince Philip’s funeral by a leave quarantine on ‘compassionate’ grounds.
The palace confirmed on Saturday the duke would fly back to the UK for the service, although heavily pregnant Meghan has been advised against flying by her doctor.
But as the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is due to take place next Saturday, Harry would not have time to complete the quarantine period.
The rules, however, do allow a person to temporarily leave their place of quarantine on compassionate grounds – which includes funerals.
Guidance published on the Government’s website states: ‘You can leave your place of self-isolation in limited circumstances, including on compassionate grounds.
‘This includes attending a funeral of a household member, a close family member or a friend (if neither household member or close family member can attend the funeral).’
It adds: ‘You must continue to self-isolate at all other times.’
Harry will have to return a negative coronavirus test result in the three days before travel, and complete a passenger locator form with details of where he will be spending his quarantine.
He will also have to book a travel test package, which involves two tests – one to be taken on or before the second day of his quarantine, and the second on or after his eighth day of quarantine.
Harry could also participate in the ‘Test to Release’ scheme. Under the scheme, if he pays for a £130 private test from an approved supplier five days into quarantine, he may be free to leave if the result is negative.
If Harry were to break the quarantine rules, he risks a penalty of up to £10,000, and if he fails to take the tests on day two and day eight, he could be fined a maximum of £2,000.
In his sermon, the Archbishop said that the Duke of Edinburgh had a ‘remarkable willingness’ to ‘take the hand he was dealt in life’. However, he added that the Duke ‘would have been the first to harrumph strongly at over-spiritualisation of himself’.
The Reverend Canon Tim Naish spoke after the Archbishop and added: ‘We pray for all those who mourn Prince Philip’s death. We pray for comfort and strength for Elizabeth our Queen.’
Marking the third of eight days of national morning, people also gathered at royal palaces to leave flowers despite calls from the palace and the government to stay away to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Paying tribute to the late Duke at the special service today, Mr Welby said: ‘It is God who creates, God who calls, and God who sends. For His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, there was a willingness, a remarkable willingness, to take the hand he was dealt in life, and straightforwardly to follow its call. To search its meaning, to go out and on as sent, to inquire and think, to trust and to pray.
He added: ‘For the royal family, as for every other, no words can reach into the depth of sorrow that goes into bereavement. We all know that it is not simply a factor of age or familiarity. It is not obliterated by the reality of a very long life remarkably led, nor is the predictability of death’s arrival a softening of the blow. Loss is loss.’
The archbishop urged prayers for the family and others who are grieving.
He said: ‘Our lives are not completed before death, but their eternity is prepared. So we can indeed pray that the Duke of Edinburgh may rest in peace and rise in glory. We may pray for comfort. We may pray and offer love for all who find that a great life leaves a very great gap.
‘For the royal family and the millions who have themselves suffered loss, we can know that the presence of Christ will bring peace, and the light of Christ will shine strongly, and it is in that light that we can strengthen one another with eternal hope.’
The Duke will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on a Land Rover he helped to design, and will be flanked by pall bearers from the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps and Air Stations.
The decision to carry Philip in the custom-built car comes after he is said to have told the Queen: ‘Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.’
Immediately behind the Land Rover, the Prince of Wales and other members of the family, likely to be the Duke’s other children and some of his grandchildren including Harry and William, will proceed on foot.
Prince Harry will travel to the UK to be with his family for the service, but his pregnant wife Meghan will remain at their home in California after being advised not to travel by her doctor.
Official royal mourning will then take place for two weeks after the funeral. Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be among guests, having stepped aside to allow for the attendance of as many family members as possible during coronavirus restrictions, No 10 said last night.
The Land Rover’s poignant role in the funeral proceedings always formed part of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename given to the plans following Philip’s death.
A senior Palace official said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand many years ago in the design of these vehicles.’ The official added that there were two Land Rovers for ‘belt and braces’.
The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.
Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.
The first guest confirmed by the palace was the duke’s long-standing close aide, his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, who will be one of the few, and possibly only, non-royals invited to attend.
Brigadier Miller Bakewell had been the Duke’s right hand man for 11 years, taking on the role in 2010.
And brothers William and Harry are expected to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ a they come together for the first time since Harry’s bombshell Oprah interview.
All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, and it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.
The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.
Remote South Pacific tribe who believe Prince Philip is their god and the incarnation of a volcano spirit pay their condolences to the Royal Family in a video message
A tribe living on a remote South Pacific Island who believe Prince Philip is their god and the incarnation of a volcano spirit have offered their condolences to the Royal Family in a video message.
The Yaohnanen tribesmen and women on the Vanuatu island of Tanna are devastated with his death and have started a ritualistic mourning process that could last for weeks.
The islanders were asleep when the Duke of Edinburgh‘s death was announced to the world on Friday night and were up early to harvest yams the following morning.
They were not aware of the tragic news until a woman from a nearby resort told them when they returned from their work on Saturday afternoon.
The tribe’s sorrow was immediately evident as women burst into tears and heartbroken men fell silent as they tried to comfort their children.
Village chief Yapa said, holding a photo showing the tribesmen meeting the late Royal: ‘In 2007 we were taken to England. The connection between the people on the Island of Tanna and the English people is very strong. We are sending condolence messages to the Royal Family and the people of England.’
Mary Niere, who works as an accountant at the White Grass Ocean Resort and Spa, told Daily Mail Australia the village was mostly empty when she arrived but there was an elderly man sitting at the nakamal – where the men meet and drink cava.
Yaohnanen tribesmen on the Pacific Island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, hold a framed photo of Prince Philip following the news of his death
The Yaohnanen tribeswomen console their children after learning of the news of Prince Philip
Ikunala village Chief Yapa holds photos of himself and four other local men with Prince Philip, taken during their 2007 trip to England
Inter-island flights operate from Port Vila to Tanna daily with Air Vanuatu. There is only one flight per day, departing in the morning, except for Thursdays and Saturdays when there are two flights daily departing early morning and early afternoon. This is where the tribe of 400 people live
‘When I told him he was shocked and asked if I was telling the truth because he couldn’t believe it,’ she said.
‘They had to send messages to the yam garden to get the people back and when the chief (Charlie) came and everyone found out. They were very, very sad.
‘The men were silent and looking down. Many of the women were very emotional and crying a lot.’
Ms Niere said ritualistic wailing is a traditional custom on the island for those dealing with immense grief and could last for weeks.
For decades, the 400-strong community has worshipped Prince Philip, praying everyday that he would protect their banana and yam crops.
It’s not entirely clear how the Prince, who never visited the island, came to be seen as a deity.
It’s believed tribesmen had seen large portraits of him with Queen Elizabeth when they visited Port Vila in the 1960s, and impressed that he had married a ‘powerful white queen’ on the other side of the world, started to believe he was the incarnation of a volcano spirit who would one day return to Tanna.
The Yaohnanen tribesmen hold a framed photograph of Prince Philip, which the Duke of Edinburgh had sent them
Yaohnanen children stand around a bucket of water following the news of Prince Philip’s death
The closest the Duke came to the island was during a trip to the capital Port Vila in 1974. Back then Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony named New Hebrides.
During the royal visit a warrior from Tanna named Chief Jack Naiva, and others, paddled 240km (150 miles) in a canoe to the capital to greet Prince Phillip as he disembarked the royal yacht Britannia.
From there, the Prince’s godlike status became even more cemented after Chief Naiva became convinced the Duke was sent from the heavens to protect the island and bring its people good fortune.
Inhabitants even speculated the divine intervention of Prince Philip helped to get Barack Obama – a black man – elected President of the United States in 2008, author Matthew Baylis revealed in his book about the Yaohnanen.
They also praised him for keeping cyclones away.
The Yaohnanen tribespeople gather together as they collectively mourn the loss of Prince Philip
The Yaohnanen have begun their ritualistic mourning process, which could take several weeks
Ten thousand miles away in England, Prince Philip was well aware of the Yaohnanen’s admiration for him.
Over the years he sent framed photographs of himself which were turned into a shrine at the village.
In a bizarre series of events, the Yaohnanen sent the Duke a traditional war club called a nal-nal used for hunting pigs and requested that Prince Philip take a picture with it.
The Duke obliged and snapped a photo with their cherished weapon but reportedly asked aids ‘how on earth does one hold a nal-nal?’ before posing with the deadly club.
The Palace sent the photograph across the world to Tanna in 1980 where it has been treated as a sacred item ever since.
Chief Charlie is now set to organise a traditional feast and ceremony to mourn Prince Philip’s death.
The tribe had hoped the Prince would visit the island before his death but now they are certain his spirit will make its way to Tanna.
‘The ladies will come together and get some local food and then they will prepare lap-lap – pig that’s cooked underground in banana leaves,’ Ms Niere said’Men will bring cava and in the afternoon they will all eat it and share it together.’